Vivek Sankaran Discusses the Dangers of Ex Parte Removal Orders Impacting Families and Children in the Foster Care System

Vivek Sankaran (‘01), Professor of Law and Director of the Child Advocacy Law Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School, contributed an article to The Chronicle of Social Change posing critical questions judges must ask CPS investigators and urging the necessity of holding hearings including all parties to prevent the traumatizing removal of children from their families unless absolutely necessary (“Is Every Foster Care Removal Really an Emergency?” July 6). “The unfairness of this process is precisely why every other area of the law makes it nearly impossible to obtain an ex parte court order without giving the other side the chance to object. Yet in child welfare, despite knowing that family separation can traumatize a child for the rest of his life, this practice has become the norm. … Judges – like they are in every other area of the law – must be skeptical of granting these requests. Unless absolutely necessary for the child’s safety, they must deny them.”